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Scratchy knock sums up Binny's recent fortunes

For a few hours on Monday, Stuart Binny was trending on Twitter for the first time in weeks; since Lauderhill to be precise, where his 32-run over spawned memes that swiftly descended from harmless ribbing to crass personal attack.

On Monday, before he went out to bat in the Duleep Trophy final, India's selectors had deemed Binny surplus to the team's requirements for the New Zealand Tests. The Twitterati found fresh ammo; parody-page admins and meme-makers were talking shop again.

It's difficult to pinpoint when Binny was inducted into such a love-to-hate social media club that already includes alter egos of Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Ashish Nehra, but this is what we know: Binny had spent all but three days of cricket in the Caribbean plying beverages to his team-mates, and now he isn't even entrusted with that responsibility. While reputations often remain intact - or even enhanced, in some cases - when you remain on the bench, Binny's was smashed, literally, by Evin Lewis in that over in Florida in the only international he played on the tour.

In Greater Noida, Binny walked in with India Red on 67 for 4, trailing India Blue's first-innings score by over 600 runs. He looked as trim and sharp as he has been all year, possibly secure in the knowledge that he wouldn't be trolled for his fitness anymore.

The first ball Binny faced would have been an eminently watchable gag had his reaction been captured on a tight close-up: he strode forward to a length delivery which whooshed past him and towards the wicketkeeper's throat. The previous one had stopped on Gurkeerat Singh and kept low, as he nearly played it on to the stumps.

India Blue captain Gautam Gambhir had engaged a pace-spin combination. Binny's default response was to stride forward and present bat and pad in a parallel line and then hope for the best. The edge was found, often, but he wouldn't be dismissed. Binny had ambled to 9 off 35 balls when Gambhir traded the pace-spin gambit with an-all spin attack - Ravindra Jadeja, Parvez Rasool and Karn Sharma shared the bowling duties for the next 46 overs.

It didn't immediately mitigate Binny's struggle, but he received a handy let off in the 37th over when Karn struck him plumb in front but the lbw appeal was turned down. After working out that he was handling spin about as convincingly as a clown would a ballet recital, Binny cheated his way out of trouble by charging out of the crease. Often, the exercise would result in a meek bunt or a nick that would slither away harmlessly. Binny was giving the feline community a severe complex, as India Blue's bowlers and fielders yelled and yelped for several lbws and near-catches that never materialised.

Feeding off a relatively more assured Gurkeerat, Binny changed his plans. He tried the sweep for starters, then graduated to launching his own variant of the helicopter shot. One whippety thunk off Rasool sailed over the long-on boundary to bring up his fifty. Some inside-out biffs and a few sheepish smiles exchanged with bowlers grudging their luck indicated he was having fun, but he would nearly ruin the theatre with atrocious brain-fades. Binny's failed attempts at the switch hit only served to scare the close-in fielders.

He had spoken of how India coach Anil Kumble had sowed ambitions of a Test century in him, but watching him run up a sequence of ugly hoicks and indiscreet prods made you wonder if he wanted one badly enough - he hasn't made a hundred in first-class cricket for more than two years.

In the end, ironically enough, he was trapped lbw, playing a defensive stroke on 98. For more than 10 seconds, he stood cross-legged at the crease with head bowed in a mixture of self-recrimination and disappointment, before slowly walking away. Even the trolls wouldn't have minded a happy ending.